Limited efficacy of pixantrone in refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma
- Aleksander Novakovic
- Lucka Boltezar
- Barbara Jezersek Novakovic
Affiliations: Medical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Department of Lymphoma Treatment, Division of Medical Oncology, Institute of Oncology Ljubljana, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
- Published online on: January 10, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2020.11288
Copyright : © Novakovic
et al. This is an open access article distributed under the
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Commons Attribution License [CC BY 4.0].
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Relapsed or refractory diffuse large B‑cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is an aggressive disease with poor outcomes in patients ineligible for autologous stem cell transplantation. In this setting, novel treatment approaches are urgently required and the innovative agent pixantrone has shown some promising results in terms of disease‑free and overall survival (OS). The present study retrospectively analyzed 12 patients routinely treated with pixantrone in monotherapy or in combinations at the Institute of Oncology Ljubljana, Slovenia, between January 2016 and October 2018. All 12 patients had refractory lymphoma to last treatment and a large proportion of them had other high risk features (high proliferation index, high disease stage, high international prognostic index (IPI) score, high percentage of primary refractory disease and high percentage of refractoriness to anthracyclines) at initiation of pixantrone. All patients progressed during treatment and none of the patients were alive at the time of analysis due to progressive lymphoma. Pixantrone specific median OS was 3.5 months (range, 0.5‑10 months). A somewhat superior median OS (P=0.065) was observed in patients primarily sensitive to anthracyclines. Pixantrone has shown only limited efficacy in the present real world study comparable to the results of another real world UK retrospective analysis and substantially worse than the efficacy observed in the PIX301 registration trial. Therefore, an appropriate selection of patients for this treatment is crucial. Despite the limited experience due to a small number of patients, it was recommended to consider only patients with relapsed (and not refractory) disease, patients with non‑primary refractory disease and those with fewer lines of prior therapy.